New Orleans, La. - They gathered Wednesday evening in the same spot where 25-year-old Ashley Qualls lost her life.
Qualls was on her way home from work around 12:30 Tuesday morning when she came in contact with three African-American men on bicycles at the corner of Esplanade and North Roman.
Police say there was some sort of argument. Someone pulled out a gun and started shooting. Qualls was found unresponsive lying on her back on the neutral ground.
"We certainly know that there are a lot of people killing each other over drugs and revenge, but this was random and this was senseless," says Dean Ron Marks of Tulane School of Social Work.
Qualls grew up in poverty in a South Carolina housing development. Beating the odds, she focused on her education and graduated from Tulane's Master Degree in Social Work Program.
"In her application she made it real clear why she wanted to come do social work and she wanted to come because she wanted to make a difference in the world. She was absolutely committed to working on behalf of the community," says Dean Marks.